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First Year Teacher Self-Study Course

First Year Teacher is a self-paced professional development course for novice K-3 teachers, developed by Reading Rockets. The program provides teachers with an in-depth knowledge of reading so they are prepared to guide their students into becoming skilled and enthusiastic readers.

Photo of teacher and students

Comprehension: Intro

Comprehension is the reason for reading. If readers can read the words but do not understand what they are reading, they are not really reading. As they read, good readers are both purposeful and active.

Good readers are purposeful

Good readers have a purpose for reading. They may read to find out how to use a food processor, read a guidebook to gather information about national parks, read a textbook to satisfy the requirements of a course, read a magazine for entertainment, or read a classic novel to experience the pleasures of great literature.

Good readers are active

Good readers think actively as they read. To make sense of what they read, good readers engage in a complicated process. Using their experiences and knowledge of the world, their knowledge of vocabulary and language structure, and their knowledge of reading strategies (or plans), good readers make sense of the text and know how to get the most out of it. They know when they have problems with understanding and how to resolve these problems as they occur.

More than 30 years of scientific reading research has shown that comprehension instruction can help students understand and remember what they read. It can also help students to communicate with others about what they read.

Engaging Nonfiction Readers

In Salt Lake City, teacher Margaret Barnes uses a framework called CORI (Concept Oriented Reading Instruction) to teach reading comprehension skills to second and third graders.

Comprehension: Intro
Diary of a First Year Teacher

Diary of a First Year Teacher

Join Barbara Zielinski, a first grade teacher at River Plaza Elementary School in Middletown, NJ, during her first year teaching.

"There is no frigate like a book, to take us lands away" — Emily Dickinson